National Park in Chile

5 Days in Santiago Chile (2024)

Nestled in the heart of the Andes, Santiago, Chile, unfolds as a captivating blend of historical charm and modern vibrancy. In the span of just five days, embark on a journey that encapsulates the essence of this dynamic city. From the bustling energy of its markets to the serene views of the Andean peaks, Santiago invites you to explore its diverse landscapes and cultural treasures. In this post, you will find the perfect itinerary for 5 days in Santiago Chile.

I had always wanted to visit South America and it had been one of my dream destinations for a very long time. As part of my yearly long vacations during Christmas, I decided to head to the beautiful continent of South America.

For me, visiting South America was incomplete without completing the Inca Trail, which meant I had to visit Peru (I visited Peru for 7 days). I started researching for various flight options from Sydney and an economical flight option was to fly to Santiago (Chile) and then take a connecting flight to Cusco (Peru). And I decided to make use of this transit and hence stayed at Santiago for 5 days.

As you read more into this post, you will realise that the country has plenty of varied things to do and the reasons why I am in love with this beautiful country of Chile.

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About Chile

Chile, officially known as Republic of Chile, is a long, narrow country on the west coast of South America. Santiago is the capital and largest city of Chile. It has been rated as Number one country on Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2018 list.

Quick information about Chile
Capital city: Santiago.
Currency: Chilean Peso.
Main Language Spoken: Spanish.
Basic Greetings in Spanish: Hola (Hello), Buenos dias (Good Morning), Buenos tardes (Good Afternoon), and Buenos noches (Good Evening).
Best Time to Visit: November to February.
Adapter required (Power points): Type C and L.
Driving Licence: International Unexpired Valid Driver’s Licence required.

Glaciers in El Morado National Park

Facts about Chile

  1. Chile is a long narrow country and one of the longest countries in the world.
  2. The country still has active volcanoes.
  3. It is affectionately known as Country of Poets.
  4. Chile is home to largest swimming pool in the world.
  5. The country is one of the earthquake-prone countries in the world.

About Santiago

Nestled in the fertile Central Valley against the majestic backdrop of the Andes Mountains, Santiago is the vibrant capital of Chile and stands as a testament to the seamless integration of history and modernity. The city’s roots trace back to the Spanish colonial era, evident in its historic architecture, charming neighborhoods, and grand plazas.

City View - Santiago Chile

How to Get to Santiago?

Chile has one international airport at Santiago. Comodoro Arturo Merino Benitez International Airport, located at the country’s capital is the best place to fly in to get into the country. The airport is around 15 kilometres from the city centre.

I was going to Chile from Sydney. The flights from Sydney in Australia to South America are very expensive. It did not help that I was traveling during the most busy and peak season which was Christmas. After researching for a number of options, below are the flights that I took for my travel.

Flight 1: Sydney to Auckland

  • Provider: Air New Zealand.
  • Cost: AUD 419.56 (approx. USD 316.39) per person.

Flight 2: Auckland to Santiago

  • Provider: Qantas.
  • Cost: The flight cost is generally between AUD 1000 (approx. USD 758.60) and AUD 1500 (approx. USD 1137.90) per person. Since I had sufficient Qantas frequent flyer points, I traded in those points for a business class ticket from Auckland to Santiago. I paid about 92,000 Qantas points with NZD 33/AUD 29.78 (approx. USD 22.46) per person.

Visa Requirements

The visa process for Chile is very simple and organised.

CitizenshipVisa Required?
Indian CitizensYes
Indian Citizens with Australian ResidencyYes
Australian CitizensYes

Chile tourist visa process

The visa process is very easy and systematic. You need to fill out application forms and submit the documents at the Consulate in your city. Depending on the number of days and times you enter the country, you can apply for the visa. They do have various types of tourist visas. The recent up to date information can be found on Chile Consulate website.

Step 1: To submit the below original documents at Chile Consulate General.

  • Completed visa application form.
  • Current Australian visa (if the visa is not stamped, then the email obtaining VEVO visa check must be forwarded to the consulate at
  • Chile travel itinerary (flight tickets and accommodation).
  • Letter from current employer.
  • One passport size photograph on a white background.

Step 2: An authorization letter will be sent to your email address provided by Chile consulate before issuing the visa.

Step 3: Visit the Chile Consulate to pay the visa fee and the passport will be stamped on your passport.

  • Chile Consulate General Sydney: Level 18, 44, Market Street, Sydney, NSW 2000.

Where to Stay in Santiago?

As my friend and I were traveling together, we decided to rent an apartment for the whole time we were at Santiago.

  • Accommodation: Zenteno Apartments in Santiago City Centre.
  • Cost: AUD 448.22 (approx. USD 338) for 5 nights.
  • The apartment is in one of the building complexes that is a gated community. There is a super market just below the building where one can shop for groceries. And there is also a coin operated laundry in the common area.

Best Time to Visit Santiago Chile

The best time to visit Santiago in Chile is in the summer season which is between September and February. Summer season is also the dry season.

If you are into skiing, then winter season is between June and August.

5 Days in Santiago, Chile

For those seeking a natural escape, Santiago provides easy access to the surrounding wine valleys, where rolling vineyards produce some of Chile’s renowned wines. Additionally, the nearby Andes Mountains beckon adventure enthusiasts with opportunities for hiking, skiing, and breathtaking views.

Chile offers many activities and an array of destinations to explore. Ideally, dedicating 2 to 3 weeks allows for comprehensively exploring the country’s diverse attractions. However, for those with limited time, a carefully curated 13-day itinerary for Chile presents an ideal way to experience Chile’s highlights.

Note: All these tours are booked with Viator. It is easy and convenient to book the tours.

DayActivity / Exploration
Day 1Valparaiso Port and Viña del Mar
Day 2El Morado Natural Monument
Day 3Santiago
Day 4Cajon del Maipo and Sanjose
Day 5Portillo Inca Lagoon and San Esteban Vineyard
5 Days in Santiago Chile Itinerary

Day 1: Valparaiso Port and Viña del Mar

During our first day, we explored the picturesque Valparaiso and Viña del Mar. Often referred to as Jewel of the Pacific, Valparaiso is a coastal city that captivates visitors with its vibrant culture, artistic flair, and rich maritime history. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is renowned for its colorful hillside houses, and intricate street art.


Known as the Garden City, Viña del Mar is a coastal paradise that graces the shores of the Pacific Ocean in Chile. The city has exquisite gardens, and vibrant cultural scene.

This full-day tour to Valparaiso and Viña del Mar, which included seamless transportation from Santiago, was exceptionally well-organized. I highly recommend this excursion as it provided a beautifully curated experience, ensuring we had the best time exploring these charming destinations.

Day 2: El Morado Natural Monument

This was one of the best days that we spent in Chile. We went on a hike to a glacier in El Morado national park. Located in the Metropolitan Region within the Andes mountain range, El Morado Natural Monument is a breathtaking testament to Chile’s natural beauty and diverse ecosystems.

  • Activity planned: Glacier hike.
  • Local tour contact: Sociedad Turistica AndoAndes (+56 229 336 051).
  • Cost of the tour: AUD 145.88 (approx. USD 110) per person.
  • The tour is a return tour from Santiago.
El Morado Natural Monument

Day 3: Santiago

We had not planned anything for day 3 and we decided to head out and explore the city on our own. At the heart of Santiago city centre lies the bustling Plaza de Armas, surrounded by landmarks such as the Metropolitan Cathedral and the historic Casa Colorada. There are also museums like the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes to the vibrant street art adorning the walls of the Barrio Bellavista.

As you venture through the city’s diverse districts, you will encounter the sleek skyscrapers against colonial-era facades, showcasing Santiago’s evolution into a cosmopolitan center.

  • Activity planned: Santiago City Tour.
  • We explored the city on our own without any tour.

Street Art in Santiago

Repeatedly expressing my fondness for street art, capturing images of captivating urban murals is a passion I thoroughly relish. Santiago only heightened this enjoyment, as the city unfolded as a canvas adorned with a plethora of vibrant street art pieces.

5 Days in Santiago Chile - Santiago Street art

Day 4: Cajon del Maipo and Sanjose

On day 4, we hiked to a volcano and this day was also one of the best days that we spent at Chile. Located just southeast of Santiago, Cajón del Maipo is known for its diverse landscapes, ranging from lush valleys to rugged peaks. Offering a playground for outdoor activities, the canyon serves as a gateway to the Andes.

Serving as a base for those embarking on adventures into Cajón del Maipo, the town of San José de Maipo provides a delightful contrast to the wilderness of the canyon.

  • Activity planned: Cajon del Maipo and Sanjose Volcano hike.
  • Local tour contact: Sociedad Turistica AndoAndes (+56 229 336 051).
  • Cost of the tour: AUD 160.87 (approx. USD 121.31) per person.
  • The tour is a return tour from Santiago.

Day 5: Portillo Inca Lagoon at The Andes Mountains and San Esteban Vineyard

This day was surely the highlight of our travel in Chile. We visited the spectacular Portillo blue lagoon at the Andes mountains.

Located in the Aconcagua Valley of Chile in the majestic Andes Mountains, Portillo and the Inca Lagoon form an enchanting alpine landscape that beckons adventurers and nature enthusiasts alike. Synonymous with world-class skiing and winter escapades, Portillo one of the oldest ski resorts in South America, Portillo attracts snow enthusiasts with its reliable powder, diverse slopes, and stunning views of Laguna del Inca.


I believe in keeping the vaccinations up-to-date as recommended by CDC and WHO. Below are the vaccinations that have been recommended for Chile:

Ensure to take advise from your physician before taking any vaccination and also make sure to read the CDC and WHO websites for updated information.

  • Hepatitus A combined with Typhoid – Vivaxim Inj 160U-25mcg/ImL 1 – AUD 125 (approx. USD 95)
  • Tetanus – Massbiologics Tet/ Diphth 0.5ML – AUD 20 (approx. USD 15.2)

Note: Doctor consultation for the below vaccines are covered by Medicare for Australian residents. However, you need to pay for the vaccines yourselves.

Is Santiago safe for Solo Female Travelers?

Even though most places in Santiago is safe for solo female travelers. But it is better to be careful with your personal belongings as there are instances of theft, especially in Valparaiso.

Closing Notes | 5 Days in Santiago Chile

The 5 days in Santiago Chile, was truly enriching, despite the initial challenges I faced. This country is a treasure trove, boasting a diverse range of attractions, from awe-inspiring glaciers to exquisite wines.

I wholeheartedly recommend a visit to Chile to savor its unique culture and immerse yourself in the vibrant vibes that characterize this remarkable destination. It’s an experience that undoubtedly leaves a lasting imprint on the traveler’s heart.

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